Up For Debate
On Thursday 19th April, six ambitious and courageous year nine students represented our school in the regional final of the ‘Up for Debate’ national debating competition held at Ibstock Place School in London.
Thomas Raines, Jacqueline Anithottathil and Finley Brighton participated in two challenging debates in the morning, centred on the taxation of junk food and the ownership of cultural treasures – against some extremely tough competition from schools all over the south east. They were able to convincingly win their second debate with some outstanding rhetoric and rebuttal. In the afternoon, after a short debating workshop, they drew upon all the feedback they had been given throughout the day to prepare for an impromptu debate, arguing against the motion that assisted suicide should be legalised.
They also won this debate,totalling two out of the three over the course of the day, which was absolutely fantastic. To top this all off, Thomas was named as one of the day’s top ten ‘Outstanding Speakers’. This is an absolutely amazing achievement given that there were 33 schools and 38 teams participating. Jacqueline, our second speaker, stated “Being given advice about debating from professional judges and being able to compete with other schools has been an amazing experience that me and my team will never forget.”
While supporting our debating team, Simon Davis was a consummate professional in his role as timekeeper on all three debates and Alysa Shaikh and Joshua Sangwan posed challenging questions during each of the three floor debates – becoming more confident as the day progressed.
A teacher from one of the schools we competed against specifically commented upon the excellent linguistic skills our debaters demonstrated and, as always, our students were exemplary in their behaviour – acting as wonderful oratory ambassadors for our school. The students came away excited at the prospect of continuing to develop their debating skills across the curriculum while we will now be looking at current year seven and eight students as prospective competitors for next year’s competition.
Leader of Literacy and Communication